Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
Colleague Jeffri Chadiha wrote a column listing the league's 10 most indispensable players. I can't question any of his choices, but I think Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme could be added to the list.
Proof of just how much Delhomme means to the Panthers came last year when he went down with an elbow injury in Week 3. Delhomme's not the best quarterback in the world, but he's very solid and fits perfectly with what the Panthers do.
Without him, the offense struggled mightily. David Carr, who was brought in to back up Delhomme, flopped terribly. The team had to go out and sign Vinny Testaverde, who gave an admirable effort, but age may have caught up with him and the Panthers finished 7-9.
With a healthy Delhomme, Carolina would have been at least 10-6 and in the playoffs.